You stand a fair chance of seeing manatees here, especially in the morning on a cold day. The creatures venture up the St. Johns River from the Atlantic Ocean to seek out the warmth of the springs of this 2,600-acre park, which maintain a constant 72-degree temperature even in winter. From mid-November through March 15, all boating, swimming, and snorkeling are suspended while the big guys (more than 75 in some years) are in residence. An exception is made daily at 10am and 1pm, when a 2-hour guided boat tour ([tel] 407/330-1612; www.sjrivercruises.com; $22 adults, $20 seniors, $16 kids 3–12) is given, and the park also coughs up a few nature trails and canoe rental. Find it 60 miles north of Disney from exit 114 off I-4; go south on U.S. Rte. 17-92 to Orange City, and then make a right onto West French Avenue (there are signs).
Blue Spring State Park
2100 W. French Ave., Orange City
Our Rating Hours Daily 8am–sundown Phone 386/775-3663 Prices $6 per car Web site Blue Spring State Park